I studied for my bachelor’s degree in Zoology at Cardiff University between 2008 and 2011. During the final year of my degree program I developed an interest in aquatic biology whilst carrying out my final year project looking at shoal size discrimination in juvenile zebra danios (Danio rerio).
After graduating, I worked as a research assistant with Prof. Jo Cable, working on a model aquatic host-parasite system (Poecilia reticulata and Gyrodactylus turnbulli). In January 2012, I began a PhD looking at the impacts of invasive crayfish species on freshwater ecosystems.
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 76907
Location: Cardiff School of Biosciences, The Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX Room: C7.07
Freshwater ecosystems occupy less than 1% of the earth’s surface but harbour 10% of all known species. Protecting this biodiversity is challenging in part because aquatic ecosystems are particularly susceptible to biological invasions, which are the second greatest threat to biodiversity following habitat loss. The frequency of biological invasions is increasing in many regions, intensifying the threat to freshwater ecosystems.
Crayfish are among the most extensively studied globally invasive freshwater taxa. At least 28 species are established outside of their native range, and seven are considered to be invasive. Most notably, American crayfish species (including signal crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus, and red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii) have been widely introduced across Europe, where impacts upon aquatic flora and fauna, including native crayfish, have been extensively documented.
Within the UK there are eight invasive crayfish species, seven of which have established viable populations outside of their native range. The most successful and widely distributed of the eight invasive British crayfish is the signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus). The spread of signal crayfish in the UK has coincided with the decline of Britain’s only native crayfish species, the white clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes), which is now regarded as endangered in the UK.
My PhD involves looking at the impact of invasive crayfish on other aquatic organisms and ecosystem processes (decomposition rate, primary productivity etc.) on both a global and a British scale. I also aim to determine how the effects of invasive crayfish on aquatic ecosystems differ to those of their native counter parts.
James J, Cable J, Davidson K, Richardson G and Mackie ASY. (2015). Two alien species of Branchiobdellida (Annelida) new to the British Isles: a morphological and molecular study. Aquatic Invasions 10: 371-383.doi/10.3391/ai.2015.10.4.02
James J, Davidson K, Richardson G, Grimstead C., Cable J. (2015). Reduced agression and foraging efficiency of invasive signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) infested with non-native Branchiobdellidans (Annelida:Clitellata). Parasites & Vectors 8:596 doi:10.1186/s13071-015-1199-1.
James J, Thomas JR, Ellis A., Young KA., Cable J. (2015). Over-invasion in a freshwater ecosystem: newly introduced virile crayfish outcompete established invasive signal crayfish. Marine & Freshwater Behaviour & Physiology 49:9-18. doi:10.1080/10236244.2015.1109181.
Thomas JR., James J. , Newman RC., D Riley WD., Griffiths SW., Cable J. (2015) The impact of streetlights on an aquatic invasive species: artificial light at night alters signal crayfish behaviour. Applied Animal Behaviour Science DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2015.11.020
James J., Slater F., Vaughan IP., Young KA., Cable J. (2014). Comparing the ecological impacts of native and invasive crayfish: could native species’ translocation do more harm than good? Oecologia doi: 10.1007/s00442-014-3195-0
Holdich D.M., James J., Jackson C., Peay S. (2014). The North American signal crayfish, with particular reference to its success as an invasive species in Great Britain. Ethology, Ecology and Evolution 26: 232-262. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03949370.2014.903380
Posters and Presentations:
James J., Vaughan I.P., Young K.A., Slater F.M., Cable J. (2014). The abduction of freshwater ecosystems by benthic aliens. Guest lecture. Department of Ecology, Charles University, Czech Republic, 16th October 2014.
James J., Cable J., Richardson G., Davidson K., Mackie A.S.Y. (2014). Parasitic or not? Symbiotic branchiobdellids on invasive signal crayfish. Oral presentation. International Association of Astacology conference, Sapporo, Japan, 22-26th September 2014.
James J., Cable J., Richardson G., Davidson K., Mackie A.S.Y. (2014). Parasitic or not? Symbiotic branchiobdellids on invasive signal crayfish. Oral presentation. British Society of Parasitology, Spring Symposium, Cambridge, UK, 6-9th April 2014.
James J, Vaughan IP, Young KA, Slater FM, Cable J. (2013). The abduction of freshwater ecosystems by benthic aliens. Oral presentation, International Association of Astacology Craycro conference, Rovinj, Croatia, 26-28th September 2013.
James J, Vaughan IP, Young KA, Slater FM, Cable J. (2013). The abduction of freshwater ecosystems by benthic aliens. Oral presentation, Cardiff University, School of Biosciences, Organisms and the Environment Division away day, Cardiff, Wales, 29-30th May 2013.
James J, Vaughan IP, Young KA, Slater FM, Cable J. (2013). Impacts of crayfish on aquatic ecosystems. Poster presentation, Cardiff University, second year PhD student poster presentation, Cardiff, Wales, 8th May 2013.
James J, Vaughan IP, Young KA, Slater FM, Cable J. (2012). Signal crayfish impacts and mitigation. Poster presentation, Cardiff University, School of Biosciences, Organisms and the Environment Division away day, Cardiff, Wales, 8th May 2012.
James J, Taylor DL, Marchesi J, Cable J (2011) Gyrodactylids and bacteria: friends or foes? Poster presentation, Cardiff University, CUROP meeting, Cardiff, Wales, 21st November 2011.